Director: BJ McDonnell
Year of release: 2013
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 81 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "The legend never dies".
Also known as: Hatchet III and Butcher III
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: After seemingly putting an end to Crowley in the last outing Marybeth is allowed little respite with the fiend quickly recovering to pursue her once again. Crowley’s latest efforts however reach an abrupt end when he seemingly meets his demise yet again at the hands of his own chainsaw. Believing him finally dead Marybeth makes her way to the police station to report the situation. In her dishevelled state she is treated suspiciously and detained at the station with a team sent out to investigate her claims of carnage at the swamp.
Upon finding the chaos left by Crowley the police orchestrate a massive clean up operation which is interrupted by the monster himself who somehow reanimates yet again to attack the police and paramedics.
Meanwhile back at the station an expert on the legend of Crowley persuades the Deputy left on duty to release Marybeth in order for her to help in a search for the ashes of Crowley’s father. If recovered it’s believed these ashes could be the thing which finally allows Victor Crowley to be at peace.
Good points: *I enjoyed and appreciated the continuity this has with the other films in the series. The events of all three of the initial films in the series all take place within a few days of each other so they all begin where the previous left off. This is not something many other franchises do but it’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing more often. In this instance Danielle Harris also returns as Marybeth plus Kane Hodder as Crowley not to mention Perry Sheen once more taking a role this time as a paramedic. As ever he’s one of the highlights. In this third outing the Ben character from the original even makes a brief cameo which was a nice surprise.
*Staying on point with the previous Hatchet films the deaths are a lot of fun and as gory and over the top as ever. As I’ve mentioned before in my previous Hatchet reviews they’re perhaps a bit too cartoonish but I can’t deny the imagination and thought that’s gone into them. They’re also very well done in terms of the special effects. Highlights include someone having their spinal column pulled out of their body, a couple of head stomps and a head being ripped off someone’s shoulders. The belt sander type implement also makes a welcome return and again is put to good use.
*Although I don’t think it was on par with the first two films in this regard there is a fair bit of comedy thrown into the mix and it does manage to be quite funny on a few occasions. The Parry Sheen character has a good line or two, I found the nervous Deputy Sneidermann character to be funny as was the man who was in possession of the urn containing the ashes of Crowley’s father.
*Mild spoiler: The finale felt very satisfying and definitive and at the time I thought it was a great way to round off what was then a trilogy of films. It’s since been followed by Victor Crowley of course but taking that out of the equation I thought this one had a really fitting end which seemed to deal with both the physical and supernatural aspects to Crowley and as such put an end to him once and for all.
Bad Points: *The Marybeth character didn’t come across as very likeable to me this time around. She’s obviously been through a lot over the course of the two previous films so I wouldn’t exactly expect her to be in the best of spirits but here she seems to be needlessly rude to everyone as well as swearing all the time. What I think made it worse is that this time there wasn’t a major secondary character to enjoy either hero or villain such as Ben and Reverend Zombie from one and two respectively. This time out the closest options are Sheriff Fowler and his ex-wife Amanda neither of whom I found very memorable.
In terms of other characters I felt there were far too many minor ones or cannon fodder types in the form of the policemen, paramedics, firemen and SWAT team members. The only purpose they really seemed to serve was to die very quickly as meat for Crowley to butcher. I found it hard to keep track of all the deaths as well as find characters to care about with most being killed off shortly after being introduced.
A number of the characters spoke too quickly for me to follow as well so I missed some of what was being said.
*I’m repeating myself from my previous Hatchet reviews but I’m still not very keen on how Victor Crowley looks. He comes across as too much of a cartoonish type monster for me with the dungarees/biballs outfit maybe adding to the silly flavour I see him as having.
I’m also not in full understanding of the undead ghost aspects to his character as I’d think from things said throughout the series that he is trapped in the night his father accidentally killed him but if that were the case he would surely be at that age (a teenager?) and not the grown man he is in the films.
*In this third film I think Crowley is able to withstand too much damage which is somewhat cheaply justified by playing the ghost/supernatural card. In number one he went down if only for a short time after being struck by blunt objects but here he’s able to withstand a tonne of gunfire which barely seems to slow him. The injury to his head sustained at the start of this one/end of number two should have kept him down for longer as well.
Verdict: After having a great time with the first two films this entry proved to be a definite step back for me. Fourth entry Victor Crowley got things back on track but here the series was showing signs of flagging and running out of steam in my view.
I don’t think the comedy was as on point this time and though I’m not a big fan of that anyway its worked well so far for the series and was an integral part of the charm of Hatchet as a whole Though still funny on occasion this one didn’t reach the heights of what had gone before in this area. Worse was that the Marybeth character came across as more obnoxious and rude than she had previously and on top of this there were too many minor characters who were just included as filler cannon fodder folk.
In spite of my criticisms though the film still entertained me and though I did come away a little disappointed that was really only when comparing it to the earlier films which is more of a testament to how good they are instead of this being bad. Maybe it’s because Adam Green surrendered directorial duties for this one that it seemed to dip in quality. It’s by no means a bad movie however and although I have to say it’s the worst in the franchise thus far it’s still worthy of it’s place in the Hatchet canon.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
Note: This may not be entirely accurate as with the deaths coming so thick and fast it was hard to keep track. You could also add Marybeth to the list as though she didn’t actually die on camera she seemed fatally wounded by the end.
1)Randy (Paramedic): Head explodes after being charged with defibrillators.
2)Hamilton (guy with eye patch): Head cut in half causing brain to fall out.
3)Male: Arm ripped off.
4)Female: Attacked from behind, neck possibly cut.
5)Male: Intestines pulled out.
6)Male: Thrown face first into a tree.
7)Male: Impaled with spear and pulled into shack.
8)Female: Pulled into shack by her head/face. Presumably killed off camera.
9)Male: Injured with hatchet then ripped apart.
10)Male: Decapitated with hatchet.
11)Male: Struck in the face with hatchet.
12)Male: Leg chopped off with hatchet.
13)Male: Hacked in the stomach.
14)Male: Head stomped into the ground.
15)SWAT leader: Spinal column and skull pulled out of body/skin.
16)Male: Hit by mistake with RPG.
17)Schnidermann: Impaled in the back with burning wood. Arms then pulled off with head stomped into the ground.
18)Ben: Hatchet thrown into face.
19)Male: Eaten by alligator.
20)Sheriff Fowler: Head destroyed with belt sander.
21)Female: Body ripped to shreds after being pulled through a hole in boat medical bay.
22)Male Deputy: Chest ripped open.
23)Amanda: Head pulled from body.